Aga Shahid Ali (1949- ) was born in Kashmir, famous for its natural beauty, and grew up in a household where poetry was recited in Persian, Urdu and Hindi as well as in English. From this richly complex background, Aga Shahid Ali has drawn inspiration, made more poignant by the bloody conflict that is slowly destroying the land of his birth. At home in Western Massachusetts for over ten years, he is the author of several collections of poetry, including The Half-Inch Himalayas (Wesleyan UP, 1987), The Beloved Witness (Viking, 1992), .A nostalgistís map of America (Norton, 1991), and The Country without a post office (Norton, 1997). He has also published a translation, from Urdu, of selected poetry of Faiz Ahmed Faiz, with the University of Massachusetts Press (1995). In a searching and wide-ranging interview, he reads and comments on his life and poetry.